FIRST Students Honored at White House Science Fair

Young Innovators Recognized for Teamwork and Ideas as FIRST Gears Up This Week for the 2013 Championship in St. Louis, Mo.

MANCHESTER, N.H., April 22, 2013 ―Just days before the 2013 FIRST® Championship – a celebration with 10,000 FIRST students from around the world engaging in robotic competitions - President Obama celebrated the achievements of numerous FIRST students today at the White House Science Fair.

The White House Science Fair featured 100 students from more than 40 states, representing 45 different states. The President viewed exhibits of the student work, ranging from breakthrough basic research to new inventions, followed by remarks to an audience of students, science educators and business leaders on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future.

At today’s Fair, students from all three FIRST programs were represented – FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition - and the President saluted the following FIRST students for their exhibits:

  • FIRST LEGO League: Mindstorms Mayhem team from Middletown, Rhode Island: Mindstorms Mayhem developed an aftermarket device, called Xcelerite, for automobiles that allows seniors the freedom to continue driving. With their product, the moment an aggressive acceleration is detected, the vehicle’s throttle is immediately returned back to idle, minimizing both personal and property damage
  • FIRST Robotics Competition: student Ben Mattinson from Paradise Valley, AZ: Mattinson earned the first-ever Abbott Award from FIRST for inventing the EyewriterB 2.1, an inexpensive system that allows a disabled user to control a computer using only the motion of their eyes

“We are truly honored to have President Obama celebrating the ideas and accomplishments of FIRST students at the White House,” said Bob Tuttle, president of FIRST. “This is a great way to kick off the week as the FIRST community heads to FIRST Championship, where we will celebrate together with three days of exciting competitions and exhibitions of engineering prowess and innovation.”

President Obama has honored FIRST students at every White House Science Fair.